Belmont-DeVilliers

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The Belmont-DeVilliers district, sometimes known as West Hill or "the Blocks," or pronounced Belmont-Devillers) is a historic neighborhood in Pensacola, centered around Belmont and de Villiers Streets. Belmont-DeVilliers is historically a center of Pensacola's African-American community, due largely to Florida's "Jim Crow" laws which took effect in 1905 and mandated segregation. It was a bustling commercial district in the early twentieth century, until a number of factors led to an exodus of both businesses and residents in the 1950s.

The Belmont-DeVilliers Neighbourhood Association defines the district as bordered by Cervantes Street to the north, Gregory Street to the south, A Street to the west, and Spring Street to the east.[1] The City of Pensacola's Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) considers the neighborhood boundaries expanded south to Garden Street and excluding that which is north of La Rua Street and east of Reus Street. According to the CRA, the neighborhood occupies about 35 city blocks, or roughly 100 acres.[2]

The CRA initiated a revitalization project called the "Future Land Use Plan" that installed new sidewalks, brick crosswalks, historic streetlamps and landscaping to the area's four-block core. The project has also set guidelines for future residential and commercial development that will preserve the historic flavor of the neighborhood while promoting growth.[3]

The district hosts the annual Goombay festival.

Demographics[edit]

As of 2004, the neighborhood was roughly 67% black, 30% white, and 3% various other ethnicities. 25% of the population was 65 years of age or older, with 12% between the ages of 50-64, 16% aged 40-49, 11% aged 30-39, 10% aged 22-29, 3% aged 18-21, 17% aged 5-17, and 6% under the age of five. The Belmont-DeVillers neighborhood has higher percentages of both black residents and residents over the age of 65 than does the City at large, which has a 31% black population and a 17.2% 65+ population, respectively.[4]

Landmarks[edit]

Other images[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Pensacola Neighbourhood Resource Guide 2007
  2. CRA Future Land Use Plan for Belmont-DeVilliers
  3. http://www.ci.pensacola.fl.us/live/pages.asp?pageID=2065
  4. CRA Future Land Use Plan for Belmont-DeVilliers